Sunday, September 10, 2017

September...Back to school

Solar eclipses, convocation, teacher work days, school supplies, Hurricane Harvey, first days, new school, gas shortages, Labor day, another hurricane...Yikes!

It's truly been a whirl wind around here, (no pun intended with the hurricanes)!  As I am sure you have heard it before...there's no tired, like a teacher tired, at the beginning of the new school year. The non-stop work, as both a teacher and a mom with 4 kiddos, that back to school time entails, is exhausting...emotionally and physically. Like with other September posts, I always remark that August goes by in such a blur, September hits you like a brick wall, making you wonder how you got here.

It's been a true month of adjustments around here.  Some of us have had a better start than others. Bailey and Savannah are off to another great start at O'Connor High School.  Bailey's thrilled as a senior to only have half days, thanks to working so hard academically over the years.  He's taking all but one AP courses, so it's almost more like a freshman semester in college for him.  He took the ACT yesterday and takes a 2nd try at the SAT next week (although his first score of a 1240 is not to shabby!).  College offers and interest are constantly coming in, but Alabama remains his first choice. Savannah is taking her very first AP course this year and is loving it so far.  She's a little firecracker with school.  She works hard and loves every minute of it.

Jonas started middle school at Garcia, but is not quite loving it yet.  Actually, it's been a pretty harsh start for him.  Breaks my heart a has always been his thing.  I just hope he can find a way to love it again.  Because Garcia is our home campus, there aren't any kids he really knows in his classes.  Carson kids go to two other middle schools.  It's starting from scratch for him.  He's happy to have made a few friends in each class already, but he's surprised by the fact that he misses me so much.  This is his first year not on the same campus as me in 7 years!!  He told me he took me for granted!

Lorelei and I are finally settling into 5th grade at Carson.  We have some serious growing pains to start our year!  On the first day of school I had 29 students!  By Thursday we were told, relief was coming, as we were adding another 5th grade class.  I was thrilled to find out a great co-worker and friend was moving up from 1st grade to fill the spot.  Last week was our first week with the 5 of us!

Attempting photos of the eclipse!

Convocation sets an exciting tone for back to school!  Very inspiring!

Teachers really do run on coffee!

First day of school...6th grade!

Mr. Kline is happy to have another Boyen! I think...😉
5th grade...
 First day for my student teacher and me!

 My 10th grader...

I didn't see Bailey till bedtime...but here he is...A senior!

Labor day allowed us to sneak in one last pool day!

A little taste of fall weather last night at the Family Game night in Old Town Helotes!

I'm feeling like things are settling in for us, so we can start to enjoy the month of September.  We've had a nice bit of cooler weather, giving us a taste of what fall will bring.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bama Bound...

About a month ago, I scheduled a campus tour for the University of Alabama for Bailey. At the time, I had no idea who was going to go, where we were going to stay, or how we would even afford the extra expense, so close to the start of back-to-school. What I did know, was that it had to happen. I couldn't let Bailey apply for an out-of-state university, without him seeing it with his own eyes. I stressed for days, maybe even weeks and spent hours on websites like Booking and Priceline, trying to find the perfect deal and place. I looked at the GulfShores, quaint towns like Natchez, even NOLA, trying to make this a real adventure. But everything was beginning to blur and I just couldn't decide. With some help from an angel (Savannah's boyfriend's mom!), she booked us into an amazing Embassy Suites in Tuscaloosa.  The perfect size for our family and price. Now there were some extra glitches to deal with...both Savannah and John got sick.  But what troopers! They took their antibiotics, and Ibuprofen and hit the road with us. We like to leave at night, so 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 6th, we started our journey, Bama bound!

A quick morning drive through NOLA.

Bourbon Street...

Getting closer!

Embassy Suites in Tuscaloosa was beautiful!

Tired...but ready to explore the hotel!

First place they want to head is the pool, of course!

Evening snacks are, food and fun!

Jonas loves to play with his food!

Super comfy beds!

And a great view!

We started Monday exploring near the stadium.  This cemetery had pre-civil war stones!  It was so interesting to read and see.

The tour began... and we actually had a break in the rain!  Perfect timing for our walking tour.

I cannot tell you how charming and picture perfect the University of Alabama's campus is...makes me want to go back to college!  We all fell in love with the place! The antebellum architecture made it feel like you stepped back in time.

Lorelei may be saying "Roll Tide" in her future.  Especially after she heard they have a top notch gymnastics team.

Back to the hotel to relax!

On the drive back home, we stopped by our second campus visit, Texas A & M. It was a beautiful, vast and modern looking campus.  Completely different world from UA.

The old Nike saying, "Just Do It", proves that sometimes, you just have to go for it! All the pre-trip stress, anxiety, decisions, discussions and even illness, we overcame and ended up with us just going for it! I will forever have warm memories of this trip. And if Bailey's choice for school next year is University of Alabama...I'll know it's a good one.

This Florida Gator girl will say something I never thought I would..."Roll Tide!"

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer habits, the good and bad!

As I flossed my teeth this morning, I realized summer time can be a really good influence on our habits. I have plenty of time in my morning routine to take care of the things I should, like flossing! I've had time to exercise, do yoga and read before bed, without feeling like I have to hurry up and get to sleep. We bake, cook as a family, organize things around the house and do spontaneous outings for fun. The kids are all caught up on doctor's appointments, eyes, teeth, and the pediatrician, for well visits times four.  We've been able to make time for friends, family and plenty of time for the six of us to bond.  We don't have any plans for a vacation this year, but I do for see a roadtrip to check out colleges very soon.

On the other hand, I tend to sometimes hold onto a lot of guilt, (recovering Catholic school girl here!) over the stupidest things, like too much relaxing, too much sleeping, too much t.v., too much tech time, too much fighting. I feel terrible over how off schedule our sleeping and eating habits are: sleep till 10:00 or later, breakfast at 11:00 or 12:00, lunch at 3:30 or 4:00, dinner at 8:00. Last night at midnight, I was literally giving Lorelei a piano lesson!  I guess all that really matters, is that they are eating and sleeping!

We have had some really quality time together.

Park time...

Yummy homemade sushi dinner with friends!

Antique shopping...

Fourth of July fireworks...on Saturday July 1!  Helotes likes to get ahead of the game!

Night time sister swims...

A four hour wait was worth it!  She has her permit!

The real Fourth of July!  The kids biked to the pool and we watched more fireworks from the front porch.

Fun adventures with friends to The Historic Pearl!

Eye appointments mean new glasses!

Family game night in Old Town Helotes.

Sisters time...

Never too many visits to the pool with friends.

It's one of the few times all four kids agree on an activity.  That's why we love it so much.

Bailey had his Senior picture session this week...hence the forthcoming college campus visits!

The pediatrician was happy to see the Boyen Bunch.  All of them are doing well...Tall and skinny! Lorelei is the only one shorter than me!

We've got about a month left...and it always seems to fly by from this point.  I'm going to savor these summer habits, the good and the bad, for as long as I can.